Train Suite Shiki-shima
The E001 series train on the Nikko Line in diesel mode in June 2017
|Manufacturer||Kawasaki Heavy Industries/J-TREC|
|Entered service||1 May 2017|
|Number built||1 set (10 vehicles)|
|Formation||10 cars per trainset|
|Car body construction||Stainless steel/aluminium|
|Car length||20,800 mm (68 ft 3 in)|
|Width||2,900 mm (9 ft 6 in)|
|Height||4,070 mm (13 ft 4 in)|
|Maximum speed||110 km/h (70 mph)|
|Traction system||Variable frequency (IGBT)|
|Acceleration||1.5 km/(h⋅s) (0.42 m/s2)|
|Deceleration||3.6 km/(h⋅s) (1.0 m/s2)|
|Current collection method||PS37C pantographs|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
The E001 series (E001系), branded Train Suite Shiki-shima (TRAIN SUITE 四季島 Toran Suiito Shikishima, pronounced [toɽaɴ suiito ɕikiɕima]) is a hybrid electric/diesel deluxe sleeping-car excursion train operated by the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) since 1 May 2017.
The train uses a new "EDC" electric/diesel hybrid propulsion system, enabling the train to operate as an electric multiple unit under overhead electric wires or use two diesel generators in the end cars to power the train's traction motors on non-electrified routes.
Cars 1 to 4 and 8 to 10 were built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Kobe, while the three bilevel cars 5 to 7 were built by J-TREC in Yokohama. The Kawasaki-built cars have aluminium bodies, while the three J-TREC-built cars have stainless steel bodies.
The train styling and interior decoration of the train was overseen by industrial designer Ken Okuyama, and is advertised as using only the best quality materials and exemplifying traditional Japanese craftsmanship.
The ten-coach train consists of six sleeping cars, a lounge car, a dining car, and observation cars at either end of the train. Five of the sleeping cars each have three private suite rooms, while one car (car 7) has two deluxe suites - a split-level "maisonette" type and a single-level "flat" type. The train formation is as shown below, formed of six motored ("M") cars and four non-powered trailer ("T") cars, and car 1 at the southern end. All suites have a shower and toilet. The two deluxe suites also each have a bathtub. One suite in car 4 is universal access. The entire train accommodates only 34 passengers.
|Car type||Observation car||Sleeping car||Sleeping car||Sleeping car||Lounge||Dining car||Sleeping car||Sleeping car||Sleeping car||Observation car|
|Facilities||Diesel generator||3 suites||3 suites||3 suites||2 deluxe suites||3 suites||3 suites||Diesel generator|
|Manufacturer||Kawasaki HI||Kawasaki HI||Kawasaki HI||Kawasaki HI||J-TREC||J-TREC||J-TREC||Kawasaki HI||Kawasaki HI||Kawasaki HI|
- Cars 2, 3, 8 and 9 are each fitted with a single-arm pantograph.
2-day itinerary (spring - autumn)
4-day itinerary (spring - autumn)
- Day 1
- Ueno → Nikko (overnight onboard train)
- Day 2
- Hakodate → Datemombetsu → Noboribetsu (overnight at hotel accommodation)
- Day 3
- Higashi-Muroran → Tōya → Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto → Aomori → Hirosaki (overnight onboard train)
- Day 4
- Tsuruoka → Atsumi Onsen → Niitsu → Higashi-Sanjo → Ueno
3-day itinerary (winter)
- Day 1
- Ueno → Shiroishi → Matsushima (overnight onboard train)
- Day 2
- Aomori → Hirosaki (overnight onboard train)
- Day 3
- Naruko-Onsen → Ueno
JR East first announced its plans to build a new luxury cruising train in June 2013, designed by Ken Okuyama, and provisionally scheduled to enter service some time after spring 2016. A year later, in June 2014, JR East published more detailed plans for the new train, with a revised exterior design and service entry date scheduled for spring 2017. The train's name and logo design were officially announced in October 2014. Details of the planned itineraries were published in December 2015.
The first seven cars (1 to 4 and 8 to 10) of the ten-car trainset were delivered from the Kawasaki Heavy Industries factory in Kobe in September 2016. Main line test running commenced on 14 September 2016 on the Joban Line as a seven-car formation. Cars 5 to 7 were delivered from the J-TREC factory in Yokohama on 27 September 2016.
The service was launched formally on 1 May 2017. It attracted great interest, with tickets for the inaugural journey made available via a lottery that was reported to have been oversubscribed by a factor of 76. By the time of the launch, tickets were sold out until March 2018.
- List of named passenger trains of Japan
- Joyful Train, the generic name for excursion and charter trains in Japan
- Seven Stars in Kyushu, a luxury cruising train operated in Japan by JR Kyushu
- Twilight Express Mizukaze, a luxury sleeping car excursion train planned by JR West in Japan
- 豪華寝台列車「トランスイート四季島」2017年5月1日デビューへ 料金も発表 [Luxury sleeping car train "Train Suite Shiki-shima" to debut on 1 May 2017 - fares also announced] (in Japanese). Japan: Tetsudo Shimbun. 10 May 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
- TRAIN SUITE 四季島 [Train Suite Shiki-shima]. Japan Railfan Magazine (in Japanese). Vol. 56 no. 667. Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. November 2016. p. 58-67.
- Iharu, Kaoru (28 August 2016). 謎の枠、表記… 少しずつベール脱ぐ東西の新クルーズ列車、見えてきた「こだわり」 [Mysterious boxes and symbols... New East/West cruise trains gradually unveiled]. Traffic News (in Japanese). Japan: Mediavague Co., Ltd. Archived from the original on 28 September 2016. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
- "Japan's ultra-luxurious train hits the tracks for its maiden journey". BBC News. 2 May 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
- クルーズトレインの列車デザインについて [Details of cruise train] (pdf). News release (in Japanese). Japan: East Japan Railway Company. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2015.
- 「TRAIN SUITE 四季島」の運行ルートの概要が発表される [Train Suite Shiki-shima route outlines published]. Japan Railfan Magazine Online (in Japanese). Japan: Koyusha Co., Ltd. 3 December 2015. Archived from the original on 16 September 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
- E001系"四季島" 試運転実施 [E001 series "Shiki-shima" undergoes test running]. RM News (in Japanese). Japan: Neko Publishing Co., Ltd. 15 September 2016. Archived from the original on 15 September 2016. Retrieved 15 September 2016.
- Hori, Yuichi (August 2017). E001形の概要 [Overview of the E001 series]. Railway Journal (in Japanese). Vol. 51 no. 610. Japan: Tetsudo Journal. p. 72-79.
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